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10-run inning helps Nats finish emphatic sweep

Behind three homers, Washington erupts in the fifth for season high in runs scored
@JamalCollier
August 14, 2019

WASHINGTON -- When the fifth inning began in Wednesday’s series finale, the Nationals had collected just one hit and one run, kept off-balance by Reds starter Trevor Bauer. What followed was Washington’s highest scoring inning of the season and the second-highest runs total in a frame in team history. The

WASHINGTON -- When the fifth inning began in Wednesday’s series finale, the Nationals had collected just one hit and one run, kept off-balance by Reds starter Trevor Bauer. What followed was Washington’s highest scoring inning of the season and the second-highest runs total in a frame in team history.

The Nationals scored 10 runs in the game-changing fifth at Nationals Park, an offensive outburst that brought 13 hitters to the plate, saw every member of the lineup score and featured three homers to lift the Nats to a 17-7 victory, completing a three-game sweep of the Reds.

Box score

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time in Nationals history every player in the lineup scored at least one run in an inning (Kurt Suzuki scored twice). The Reds did so earlier this season on July 29 against the Pirates. And it’s just the second time in Nationals history they have plated double-digit runs in an inning, behind an 11-run seventh inning against the Rockies at Coors Field on April 27, 2017.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before,” right fielder Adam Eaton said. “It was fun. It’s enjoyable. Not that you expect that. I think it shows our depth. ... We don’t have too many holes in the lineup. I think that was something coming into Spring Training that we knew was one of our strengths. To be able to flex that a little bit there is pretty cool.”

Asdrubal Cabrera collected two hits in the fifth inning, starting the inning with a single off Bauer and then doubling off Sal Romano after Bauer had been knocked out of the game. Stephen Strasburg drove in the first run of the frame with a run-scoring single to right field. Eaton launched a three-run homer, Anthony Rendon followed it up by going back to back -- notching his career-high 26th homer of the season -- and Kurt Suzuki capped the scoring with a three-run homer of his own.

Every Nationals position player scored twice in the game, and Strasburg scored a run as well.

Scherzer feels ready for return to rotation

“Hitting's contagious -- they say it all the time,” Suzuki said. “You get guys starting to swing the bats and get the ball rolling, get guys on base. And then things happen. One guy hits, and it seems like everybody keeps hitting.”

And the Nats left Bauer searching for answers after tagging him for nine runs on the night, a new career high in runs allowed.

“I gave up hits on all six of my pitch types that inning,” Bauer said. “... They got a hit on my changeup, slider, four-seam, two-seam. I don't know. It's kind of confusing when you're there. I don't know what else short of throwing an eephus pitch or changing an arm angle. You're just trying to guess and pull something out.”

Washington set a new season high with its 17 runs. It put an exclamation point on a dominant series against Cincinnati, which had been hanging on to the fringes of the National League Wild Card race, but left D.C. 7 1/2 games back.

The Nationals, meanwhile, continue to hold the top NL Wild Card spot, as they improved to a season-high 10 games above .500 for the first time this season.

“We’re playing well,” manager Dave Martinez said. “And the message is every day, ‘Let’s go 1-0.’ We stick to that message. No one remembers what we did in May. Just keep playing the way we’re playing now, and keep on rolling.”

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.